Around the world, many people face persecution because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression (SOGI). Leaving their country of origin becomes their only means of survival. Fleeing persecution, therefore, to find refuge in a host country where “new labels” are added to those of the LGBTQI+ communities (gathering people whose SOGI is different from the heterosexual and cisgender norm) : refugee, foreigner, or migrant. It is to improve the reception of these people facing intersectional discrimination that POUR LA SOLIDARITE-PLS and its four European partners have created the RainboW! project.
- Because LGBTIQ+phobia – intolerance towards people with SOGIE other than the norm – still exists, causing both physical and psychological violence, LGBTIQ+ people face discrimination and isolation.
When these acts of violence can imply (sometimes legally) death, imprisonment or social exclusion in countries around the world, LGBTIQ+ people might have to leave their home country and ask for asylum elsewhere, where they think life could be better for them. A status that often implies other discriminations and prejudices.
This project aims to deal with this population at the intersection of two factors: being on the LGBTIQ+ spectrum and being an asylum seeker or refugee.
- Why? Because in the EU, specialized institutions and refugees’ reception centres do not always have the knowledge and capacities to welcome safely LGBTIQ+ refugees whereas LGBTIQ+ shelters are not specialized to support refugees and their specifics needs.
This transnational project gathers actors on the field and experts:
- In Belgium, PLS and Le Refuge Bruxelles/Het Opvanghuis Brussel
- In Spain, ACATHI
- In France, Le Refuge
- In Italy, la Croce Rossa Italiana
Co-funded by the European Program Right, Equality and Citizenship (2014-2020), the project “Rainbow Welcome” aims to :
- Identify legal and on-the-ground procedures and offers dealing with welcoming LGBTIQ+ refugees;
- Identify strengths and weaknesses when answering LGBTIQ+ refugees needs;
- Equip LGBTIQ+ shelters and associations as well as refugees’ reception centres and public authorities on how to welcome, orientate and answer the needs of LGBTIQ+ refugees;
- Raise awareness about the situation of LGBTIQ+ refugees;
- Advocate for LGBTIQ+ refugees rights and needs towards the EU.
RainboW is a project rooted in today’s realities: it is essential to understand the phenomena of intersectionality that lead to the increased vulnerabilisation of some people. RainboW is the ambition to work together to build a more welcoming and inclusive society.